Objective: Autoimmune pancreatitis (AIP) and Mikulicz's disease have recently been recognized as pancreatic or salivary gland lesions of IgG4-related systemic disease. These are frequently associated with elevated serum IgG4 levels. This study aimed to clarify clinical implications of serial changes of elevated serum IgG4 levels in IgG4-related systemic diseases.
Methods: Serial changes of elevated serum IgG4 levels were examined in patients with IgG4-related systemic diseases. Patients Serial changes of elevated serum IgG4 levels were examined in 44 patients: AIP (n=24), Mikulicz's disease (n=8), pancreatic cancer (n=5), bile duct cancer (n=1), sclerosing cholangitis (n=1), hypereosinophilic syndrome (n=1), chronic thyroiditis (n=1), hypophysitis (n=1), idiopathic pancreatitis (n=1), and Behcet's disease (n=1).
Results: The serum IgG4 levels decreased in all patients with AIP and Mikulicz's disease after steroid therapy. The serum IgG4 levels were normalized in 46% of AIP patients and 38% of Mikulicz's disease patients. The serum IgG4 levels were not normalized at remission in 3 of 4 relapsed AIP patients, and re-elevation of serum IgG4 levels was detected in all relapsed patients. Elevated serum IgG4 levels decreased in 3 patients with pancreatic cancer after resection or chemotherapy, and decreased in patients with hypereosinophilic syndrome, sclerosing cholangitis, and hypophysitis after steroid therapy.
Conclusion: Measurement of serial serum IgG4 levels is useful to determine the disease activity of IgG4-related systemic diseases.